Terrorism

ISIS: A Backgrounder

Featured image If, like most, you wonder how the Islamic State of al-Sham (ISIS) came to prominence in the Middle East, seemingly overnight, terrorism analysts Ilana Freedman and Jerry Gordon offer a valuable primer. The rise of ISIS is rooted in the “Arab Spring”: The confrontations developing in the Middle East are the predictable outcome of the so-called “Arab Spring,” coupled with weak American leadership which has empowered Islamists throughout the world »

Mr. Abu Khattala regrets

Featured image In its continuing campaign to break down our defenses, the Obama administration is treating alleged Benghazi mastermind Ahmed Abu Khattala as a criminal rather than an enemy. Having delivered him to federal custody in Washington, prosecutors have filed a document supporting the continued pretrial detention of Mr. Abu Khattala (as the New York Times calls refers to him in its report). The Times has posted the document here. The Times »

The Ayers file

Featured image Megyn Kelly is airing her interview of former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers on her FOX News show. Ayers is the former Weather Underground terrorist and, as we all learned in 2008, former intimate ally of Obama in Chicago. If American voters didn’t get a handle on Obama in 2008, it wasn’t for lack of information in the public domain. The first two segments of Kelly’s interview of Ayers aired »

Israeli Teenagers Murdered

Featured image The bodies of Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah were found today near Hebron. The Times of Israel reports that authorities believe the three teenagers were murdered shortly after they were kidnapped by Hamas operatives on June 12: The prevailing assessment within the defense establishment is that the kidnappers, at least at first, only saw one of the hitchikers, perhaps Yifrach, who did not know Shaar and Fraenkel. Only »

Rachelle Fraenkel speaks

Featured image Times of Israel editor David Horovitz sat down for an interview with the mother of kidnapped Israeli teenager Naftali Fraenkel (video below). Naftali has been kidnapped by Hamas operatives at work in the area that is the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority. David briefly introduces the video and posts the transcript in “A mother’s plea for ‘prayer, positive energy, whatever it takes to find’ kidnapped teens.” Writing from Jerusalem this »

No bright line separates ISIS and al Qaeda

Featured image A source from deep within the intelligence world has commented on my post about Walter Russell Mead’s article concerning ISIS. Mead’s thesis is that ISIS is more radical, better organized, and better financed than al-Qaeda. And now that it controls some of the most strategic territory at the heart of the Middle East, ISIS poses a greater threat to the United States than any of its jihadist predecessors. My source »

Inside ISIS: “Clanking of the swords”

Featured image The Wall Street Journal has posted its page-one report on the massacre by ISIS terrorists of captured Iraqi Shiite soldiers. The Journal’s report is out from behind the subscription paywall and based in part on photos posted yesterday to a Twitter account associated with ISIS. A reader directs our attention to the Dutch site GeenStihl that posted the ISIS propaganda video below (“Clanking of the swords, part 4″), complete with »

The PA celebrates a kidnapping

Featured image This past Thursday night, three Jewish teenagers — one of whom is a dual American/Israeli citizen — were abducted on the West Bank. The Israelis are certain that Hamas is responsible. The Israelis have taken 80 suspects into custody as part of the investigation. Reuters reports the story here. One can only fear the outcome and the consequences. For the moment, we can also observe the reaction of the Palestinian »

Mr. Bihani, is that hot yoga?

Featured image The New York Post headline reads “Obama to free Gitmo terrorist ‘because he took up yoga.’” As many have observed, after the Taliban 5 it’s all downhill, but I think “because he took up yoga” probably goes too far. Anyway, Paul Sperry reports in the Post article: Desperate to empty the Guantanamo Bay prison by the end of his term, Obama quietly is giving “get out of jail free” cards »

Why Obama had to have the Bergdahl deal

Featured image Fox News reports that the Obama administration decided back in December to try to secure Bowe Bergdahl’s release through a prisoner exchange rather than a cash payment. Having made that decision, Team Obama never asked the intelligence community for a formal assessment of the risk of releasing the five high-value Taliban commanders. Fox also reports that Defense Secretary Panetta and Director of National Intelligence Clapper opposed the swap when the »

American exceptionalism in the time of Obama

Featured image I’m ready to concede that President Obama believes in American exceptionalism — his own version, in which American does things so perverse that no other country in history would even contemplate them. Any country might do a prisoner swap, even if it meant freeing very bad people. But only an exceptional country would swap five leading terrorists in exchange for a deserter. Any second-rate county might screw up in providing »

Meanwhile in Arafatistan

Featured image Mahmoud Abbas serves in the ninth year of his four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority. Having engineered the formation of a unity government that enlists the support of Hamas, he now brings to an apparent end the seven-year civil war that severed Gaza from his jurisdiction and placed it under the control of Hamas. Here is the beauty part: no members of Hamas itself participates in the newly »

Jewish Museum Killer Captured

Featured image I missed this story over the weekend; I don’t think it got much attention. The guy who murdered three people and critically wounded another at the Jewish Museum in Brussels has been caught: Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, was arrested at a train station in Marseille on Friday. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the suspect had claimed responsibility for the 24 May attack, which left three people dead and another critically ill. »

Hagel’s phenomenology of negotiation

Featured image Secretary of Defense Hagel appeared on Meet the Press from Afghanistan this morning for an interview by MTP host David Gregory. The nullity involved in pairing a member of Obama’s Team of Nitwits with Gregory for an interview is chilling. Gregory asked Hagel if the swap of five Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl represented negotiation with terrorists. Hagel responded (the transcription here is mine): “We »

Taliban becomes our latest enemy to play Obama for a patsy

Featured image President Obama has released five senior Taliban commanders from the Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. It’s a great moment for Bergdahl and his family, but unfortunately it puts American lives at risk. This would be true regardless of who, exactly, had been released. Any exchange puts Americans in danger of being seized as bargaining chips to secure the future release of terrorists. But Obama’s exchange »

Is Obama too sanguine about al Qaeda’s threat to the homeland?

Featured image Amidst all the straw men President Obama grappled with during his mushy commencement speech at West Point were a few serious points. One of them was this: [T]he need for a new strategy reflects the fact that today’s principal threat no longer comes from a centralized Al Qaida leadership. Instead, it comes from decentralized Al Qaida affiliates and extremists, many with agendas focused in countries where they operate. And this »

New FBI director rejects Obama’s most dangerous lie

Featured image Hillary Clinton was a “team player” in Team Obama’s attempt to maintain the fiction that the threat posed by al Qaeda, and by global terrorists generally, has receded significantly. As a result, her image is taking a hit and her bid for the presidency (if she makes one) may suffer. James Comey, the new head of the FBI, does not intend to take any hit to his image (which he »